Things were going well for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, they had managed to beat Ravenclaw just over a month after their first match and they were slowly climbing to the top of the Quidditch rankings. The practices grew more intense as the weather stared getting worse, but Sean didn’t seem to show any consideration.
Things were also going well in Lily’s personal life, she thought to herself as she skipped down to breakfast a week before the Christmas holidays. Her relationship with Eric was developing well and he asked her to come and meet his parents over Christmas break, as they lived fairly close. Lily was aware that they were still young, but she could easily see this relationship going the distance. Even more, she hoped it would.
“Hello Lily-pad,” Eric greeted her in front of the Great Hall, as was their tradition.
“Hi,” she smiled giving him a quick peck on the lips.
“I had a dream about you last night,” Eric told her, getting a hold of her hand.
“Yes, it was the most wonderful dream,” he told her lovingly.
“So tell me what happened,” she encouraged him as they sat down in their usual spot, which was no longer next to James and his little clan. Lily discovered it to be wise to stay away from Potter when she was with her boyfriend, since Eric didn’t seem to agree with him. Not that this was hard for Lily, in her mind the perfect place to be was as far away from James as possible.
“I’m not going to tell you what was in my dream,” Eric said, blushing slightly.
“Oh come on,” Lily laughed.
“Nope, maybe some other time,” he threw his arm around her shoulders and pulled her in so that she was leaning on his shoulder.
“Do any of you feel sick?” James asked at the other end of the table, viciously stabbing his hardly eaten pancake.
“Does this have anything to do with Lily and Eric over there?” Alex teased.
“No,” James glared at everyone around him.
“Look at Jamesie being all jealous,” Sirius told him and then throwing a piece of bread and catching it with his mouth.
“Did your mother never teach you any manners, Black?” Alex asked, “This bread trick is hardly amusing.”
“Oh you don’t like it with bread? I can try with something else,” he said looking around at the food that was laid on the table, “Maybe bacon will please you more.”
He threw the sliver of meat in the air, but when he opened his mouth to catch it, it fell right into the collar of his shirt
“Serves you right,” Alex snickered.
“I have to agree with Alex on this one, this is hardly a way to behave at the table,” Remus said.
“Oh please, you two are such hypocrites. Have you seen Taylor dig into dinner after a long day? The food basically goes flying everywhere as she sloppily buries her face into the plate of pasta or whatever else she’s eating. And you Moony, I don’t particularly enjoy watching you eat a piece of hardly cooked meat and tearing it apart with your teeth. I am aware that it’s not your fault that you enjoy the taste of blood, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is not an pleasurable sight,” Sirius concluded.
Peter looked at Sirius in admiration as he finished speaking and it seemed he would love nothing more then to kiss his feet.
“Does it really matter in what way you all eat? I would rather not go into the details. Let’s just get to class,” James groaned and got up, but he had just the luck to bump straight into Eric as he took a step back.
“Watch where you’re going,” he snapped, gritting his teeth, although it was obviously his fault.
“I’m sorry,” Eric said, not wanting to pick a fight, but sadly that was exactly what James wanted and it angered him greatly that Eric was not going to answer back.
“You should be sorry, you’re in Slytherin you slimy bastard.”
“James, what is wrong with you?” Lily gasped.
“Stay out of this Lily,” he said, turning back to Eric, “So? What do you have to say for yourself?” he challenged him.
“Why should I have anything to say?” Eric answered calmly, convinced that he was not going to get sucked into this fight.
“How will you defend the fact that you are a worse then scum?”
“James stop this nonsense,” Remus warned him, but James didn’t.
“So? What will it be you nasty Slytherin?”
“At least I don’t have to put down people, just so I can feel better that the girl I have a crush on is with someone else,” he shrugged and pulled Lily forward, “Let’s go Lily.”
They walked past James and he seemed so annoyed by this that he turned around and called out Eric’s name.
“What?” Eric faced James again.
James made a fist and punched him right in the face. Everyone around them turned silent and were looking at the pair next to the Gryffindor table. Eric was clutching his face and Lily was glaring at James.
“Mr. Potter! Violence will not be tolerated at Hogwarts! Detention for one week, I will see you tonight at eight!” McGonagall came running down the aisle between the tables, with a fierce look in her eye, “Eric if you are in a lot of pain, go to the hospital wing, if not then all of you head to class,” she shooed them along, “come on, off with the lot of you,” she turned around and took in Sirius who was watching the exchange between her and James.
“You have a greasy stain on your shirt master Black,” McGonagall told him, sternly eyeing the yellow mark that the piece of bacon left on Sirius’s collar, “Make sure to take care of that before class, I do not want my students running around like a clan of monkey-like baboons, Potter over here, being your poster boy,” with that she left everyone watching her straight posture.
“James what were you thinking?” Remus asked him.
“I just hate his Slytherin guts,” James told them.
Lily and Eric had already left and they were now also walking to class.
“There is no way you will get Lily, if you behave that way and I have told you this a million times before,” Alex explained.
“No buts James, just lay of Eric.”
“But he’s a Slytheirn and not a good looking one to top it off!” James whined.
“No James, I don’t care about your excuses, you have to stop!”
“Because it’s not fair to Lily, she deserves to be happy and you shouldn’t try and stop it every chance you get. If you really care for her, you’ll leave Eric alone, ok?” Alex told him and something in James moved.
“You’re right,” he agreed whole-heartily.
“Very well then,” Alex smiled.
“Finally James has come to his senses,” Remus nodded along.
“I’m going to miss pranking that little Slytherin,” Sirius sighed longingly.
“Sirius, don’t encourage him,” Alex gave him a stern glance, “James has only just agreed to stop pestering Eric, don’t try to get him back on the bad side.”
“I’m sorry,” Sirius grimaced.
“I was thinking we should go to the room of requirement tonight, so that we can practice becoming an animagus, we have some catching up to do,” James changed the subject.
“Sure,” Alex agreed.
They entered the classroom and split ways to their sits. Alex sat down next to Lily who gave her a kind smile.
“Everybody, settle down please,” professor Vector entered and Alex shot Lily a confused look.
“Where’s Flitwick?” she whispered and judging by what was heard from around the class, others were wondering that as well.
“Sadly professor Flitwick had an urgent matter to attend to, so I will be running this class today, I am sure you will be on your best behavior…”
As soon as James and Sirius heard that they would be having a substitute teacher they started yelling and laughing in uproar.
“Boys settle down, please,” the professor said.
But it was too late. Everyone was standing up, talking to their friends and there was general chaos in the classroom. Professor Vector seemed at loss and was looking around, not sure what to do.
“Students, please open your books…” he glanced from one loud moving student to another, “Or you know, you could just take the hour to study by yourselves…” he concluded, sitting down behind his desk and burying his face in his hands.
“Three times hooray for the free hour that we just got!” Sirius yelled.
“Hooray!” James joined him.
“Those boys are unbelievable,” Alice shook her head shyly.
“This is nothing compared to some other things they’ve done. Do you know that Sirius and James once painted Mrs. Norris blue? I have no idea how they managed to get away with it, as far as I know Filch he would have buried them alive, if he ever found out,” Alex told them.
“That’s why we made sure he didn’t find out,” Sirius grinned from behind.
“And how did you do that?” Alice asked.
“That’s our brilliant secret, love,” Sirius winked playfully.
“Shut up, Black and stop behaving like you rule this school,” Alex rolled her eyes.
“Oh, Alex, jealous again are we? You know you’re my favorite,” he said, leaning on her desk and putting an arm around her.
“Shove off,” she shook his arm off her shoulders.
“Hey Sirius! Come and look at this!” James waved him over from across the classroom, where he appeared to be brewing some kind of green gooey mush that was splattered all over Remus’s desk. He on the other hand was sitting there quietly with a look of firm denial on his face. Alex frequently wondered how they even became friends. She turned around to face Lily and Alice once more, who were talking about Frank Longbottom again.
“Just ask him out,” Lily convinced her.
“No,” Alice shook her head.
“Look now that I have Eric, I really want all my friends to be as happy as I am,” Lily smiled warmly, “It’s just the best feeling in the world.”
“I agree with Lily, you should totally go for it,” Alex nodded.
“He’ll just shoot me down, he probably thinks I’m some third-year loser.”
“He doesn’t think that. You know what? I’ll talk to him at practice, ok?” Alex asked.
“Ok, if you must, but please do it subtly. I don’t want him thinking I set you up to this.”
“Don’t worry,” Alex reassured her.
The next time the Gryffindor team had Quidditch practice, Alex walked up to Frank and started talking to him.
“You played well today,” she ignited the conversation.
Frank was a very nice guy, but he never said a lot, he too was a bit shy, just like Alice and that’s why Alex thought them perfect for each other.
“I feel like I've never really spoken to you and we're on the same team, I think we should change that,” Alex said.
“Yeah, I'd like that,” he smiled warmly at her.
“So, tell me something about your personal life,” she said.
“Oh, I'm from Yorkshire, I wen to school there. My parents are both wizards, what about you?”
Alex quickly summed up her childhood.
“Let's walk to the castle,” Frank suggested and Alex followed him out of the changing rooms.
“Wait up!” Sirius and James suddenly yelled behind them and Alex cursed under her breath. Did they really have to come in this moment? She was just getting close to Frank.
The rest of the way to dinner passed in discussing Quidditch tactics and Alex sat down next to Alice with a look of disappointment on her face.
“Why so blue?” Lily asked.
“I managed to talk to Frank, but then those bloody two got in the way.”
There was no need for further explanation for who was meant by those bloody two.
“Don't put yourself down because of it Alex,it's fine, really. It would have been suspicious, if you asked him right away, if he liked anyone,” Alice told her.
“I guess you're right,” Alex groaned slightly.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Lots of love,
My dear Alex!
I wish you all the best in the holidays!
P.S. Frank sent me a Christmas card! Yeey!! xo
I hope you have an enjoyable Christmas and that you aren't missing me too badly (I know it must be hard for you). Don't worry, I will give you your present when we are back at Hogwarts-I have already made a reservation in the finest broom closet-just for us!!
Best regards, kisses and hugs from your intelligent, charming and extremely good-looking friend Sirius.
P.S. Your ass is looking very fine (this is just in case it has grown sad, since it is not disposed to my daily compliments)
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
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